Convert a 3DS file to .RWX format

One of the most easy methods is to use a small 40Kb program called 3dsToRwx which is available for free download at http://www*activeworlds*com/products/download*asp. You'll also need to download dos4GW which you can find at the same URL.

Preparation :

It's important to model using the right scale to avoid having to resize afterwards.
For most 3D modeling programs, 1 unit equals 10 meters once the object is in AW (OW, aso..), make a test with a floor of 1x1 to asure yourself of the result.
In contradiction with the objects, avatars need to have their axis placed at the viewing field (at eye level).
The "skinned" option isn't supported yet, you'll have to create your avatars in several parts and asure yourself that the rotation axis and junctions for each part are correctly defined.
Create a hierachical structure as followes :

Arm right
Underarm right
Hand right
Arm left
Underarm left
Hand left
Leg right
Lower leg right
Foot right
Leg left
Lower leg left
Foot left

When saving (or exporting) as 3ds file, be careful not to have a group but only one or multiple distinct objects.
Choose a filename of 8 characters maximum as it is the maximum supported by 3dsToRwx.

How does it work ?

In this example we will convert "avatar.3ds" located in "C:\my3D".
Copy 3dsToRwx and Dos4GW into "C:\my3D".
Copy "avatar.3ds" into the same directory.
Open a MS-DOS session : Start/Execute then type "cmd" (without the quotes) and hit <Enter>.
Once the cursor in the MS-DOS session, type "cd \my3D" (without the quotes) and hit <Enter>.
To start the conversion, type "3dstorwx" (without the quotes) followed by the desired options and object filename
When only typing "3dstorwx" some conversion options are displayed.
The most useful are :
-h - Generate hierarchical model
-n[scale] - Normalise output[output scale factor(default 1.0)]
-c - Center output on origin.
-p - Use Prototypes in output file
-s - Split file into component parts
-t - Include Textures in output
-N   conserves the original scale used when the object was created.

-H   generates the hierarchy of the object, only useful for conversion of an avatar when such structure has been defined for this avatar of course.

-C   places the axis in the center of the object.

-P   devides each object as protobegin-protoend (prototypes)

-S   devides the saved or exported ojects as one 3DS file, into seperated objects. The result will be like "object0.rwx" "object1.rwx" object2.rwx" aso...

-T   conserves the way how the textures have been applied to the object.

Conversion :

If we continue our example and convert "avatar.3ds" into RWX format while conserving the original scale, textures and hierarchical structure, we use the following command :

3dstorwx -N -T -H avatar

A new file "avatar.rwx" will be created in the directory "C:\my3D"

To make your avatar compatible with the animation sequences (SEQ):

When opening the file "avatar.rwx" with a simple text editor, you will notice that each body part is prefixed with a TAG, like :
tag 1
# pelvis
vertex 0.0018 -0.0158 -0.0047 uv 0.8271 0.8847
vertex 0.0000 0.0069 -0.0043 uv 1.0000 0.1386

The number following the TAG indicates to the .SEQ animation file how to react to the different body parts of the avatar.
Below you'll find a list of all TAGs, some like TAG 4, 9, 14, 18 and 22 to 30 are rarely used.

TAG 1Pelvis
TAG 2Torso
TAG 3Neck (lower)
TAG 4Head
TAG 5Shoulder right
TAG 6Arm right
TAG 7Underarm right
TAG 8Hand right
TAG 9Fingers right
TAG 10Shoulder left
TAG 11Arm left
TAG 12Underarm left
TAG 13Hand left
TAG 14Fingers left
TAG 15Leg right
TAG 16Lower leg right
TAG 17Foot right
TAG 18Towes right
TAG 19Leg left
TAG 20Lower leg left
TAG 21Foot left
TAG 22Towes left
TAG 23Neck (upper)
TAG 24Tail (base)
TAG 25Tail (2nd part)
TAG 26Tail (3rd part)
TAG 27Tail (edge)
TAG 28Object 1
TAG 29Object 2
TAG 30Object 3

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